Friday, October 17, 2008

8 bags

I like to keep things. Especially things that are tied to the past. I keep letters, shoes, pictures, books, clothes, and more. I have a sweater from 8 years ago that I refuse to give away, even thought I will never wear it again. But I was wearing it when Toby proposed, so to me it still has value. Even if it's just the sentimental kind. Maybe that's why I've kept all of the girls' clothes. Really. I've kept them all. I've given away a few things to friends, but that is it. Or that was it. Until last night. The girls and I went through some of their old clothes to give away. We didn't go through everything, just about 1/3 of their old stuff. Everything I picked up had memories attached. I remembered the day they wore that shirt to the doctor's office, or how cute they looked in those dresses at church. I remembered the excitement of all of the firsts they had in those clothes. I also remembered the struggles. They liked to hold their baby clothes up to them to see if they still fit. Of course they were much too small. So small that I wondered how they ever fit into them. But they did. This time next year, I'll wonder how they ever squeezed into their little jeans that they wore this week. I'll remember how cute they looked at night in those little ladybug pajamas, and the way they giggled, talked, squealed and sang in their rooms before falling asleep. I'll remember how small their hands were and what tiny feet they had. Hopefully by then, some of the struggles of this year will also be a memory!

As I sit here, there are 8 bags of memories on our porch. 8 bags of sleepy pajamas, innocent dresses, and well-loved shoes. There are even a few pair of shorts that made a trip or two to time-out. I hope that those 8 bags will bring as much fun, love, and memories to their next families as they did to us. Minus the time-outs, of course!


Cheryl Lage said...

Oh Leslie, you've described so beautifully what I feel when the eventual "purge" is mandated. It's so bittersweet, isn't it?

When my back was out a few weeks ago, my husband went through a toy box and collected a goodwill I peered in the other day, admittedly I extracted three toys that were so associated with memories I couldn't bear to part with them! (They're now in a box under my bed with a few ultra-special items of clothing...)

A beautiful post, Leslie. Thank you!

The Allens said...

That was a wonderful post! I am excited to have those kinds of memories soon.